A YES group is cooking up a storm with a recipe book celebrating Scotland’s food and culture.

Stir It Up, which features a cover by artist Eric Ritchie and an introduction by Lesley Riddoch, has been compiled by Yes Berwickshire as part of their campaign strategy.

To reflect the multi-cultural reality of today’s Scotland, recipes range from traditional Scots favourites like stovies, to newer takes on the national cuisine like Dundee/Calcutta beef curry, red dragon pie and Zanzibar coconut ice cream.

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Irene McEwan, chair of the group, said the recipes reflect the make-up of the collective which includes members from England and places further afield – including the former East Germany.

She said the group decided to produce the book “to show we in the Yes movement are not anti-English, or anti-anyone for that matter”.

“We welcome members wherever they come from,” she said. “It’s not where they were born that matters, it’s their belief that Scotland would fare better as an independent country that matters.

The group points out that since Scotland joined the European Union in 1973, diets have changed dramatically and become more Mediterranean. Compared to decades ago, many more Scots now regularly eat garlic, aubergines, courgettes, pasta, pizza, calamari, salami and a vast range of cheeses.

“You can see the change through the recipes in this book,” said McEwan.

The book’s editor, Dorothy Bruce, said the words of French lawyer and politician, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, related to Stir It Up.

The Frenchman once said that the fate of nations depended on the way they ate.

“I came across this wonderful Brillat-Savarin quote while working on the book, and thought it so appropriate to Scotland today in a country where haggis, once our best-known dish, was mocked and derided in a similar way to the idea of Scottish independence,” said Bruce. “Scotland now produces premium quality foods in demand around the world, and independence almost feels within touching distance.”

In her introduction, Lesley Riddoch explains the Scottish palate is more adaptable than is often perceived.

“Food preferences, like political cultures, change slowly over time influenced by the folk and traditions that make up modern Scotland,” she said.

The book also highlights Scotland’s well-recognised brand when it comes to food and drink.

“Recently we have seen a change with Scottish produce branded, along with produce from other parts of the UK, with a Union flag,” the group said.

“If the Scottish brand is lost or weakened we will lose market share. If we lose market share we lose revenue and our economy will be hit. Even tourism could be affected.

“Our visitors already spend almost £1 billion every year on food and drink, supporting local producers.

“Yes Berwickshire wants to see our distinctive Scottish branding retained so we can grow the market for the produce from our farmers, fisher folk, and food and drink industry, protecting jobs and livelihoods,” said the group.

Copies are available from members of Yes Berwickshire, or through Twinlaw Publishing. Visit www.twinlawpublishing.co.uk, or ayeMail at www.ayemail.scot.